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Restorative Teaching

Restorative Practice in Secondary and Primary Schools

Restorative Justice Council

Saner Schools programme (IIRP)

About the IIRP
All humans are hardwired to connect. Just as we need food, shelter and clothing, human beings also need
strong and meaningful relationships to thrive.
Restorative practices is an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between
individuals as well as social connections within communities.

Restore: using restorative practices in schools after COVID

RESTORE provides a restorative perspective that can inform how we plan for the return
to the classrooms, playgrounds and corridors of physical schools.
It highlights seven key areas which, alongside learning, are where we need to stimulate thinking and
make decisions in order to collectively move forward into a healthy ‘new normal’. The areas intersect,
interconnect and affect each other, as we all do. RESTORE is a lens through which staff, children and
parents can look at the strategy and plans that are needed for everyone’s well-being in a fast changing
environment and for a safe and healthy return to school.

Webinars on restorative practice in learning spaces

Research and Evaluations of restorative practices in schools

Randomized controlled studies

Study of the IIRP SaferSanerSchools program in 22 Pittsburgh Public Schools by the RAND Corporation with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice Comprehensive School Safety Initiative:

Other randomized controlled studies of SaferSanerSchools:

The Lancet (UK)

Other key research and reviews

Research conducted by Anne Gregory, Ph.D., et al. (Rutgers University)

WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center

Improving school climate: Promising outcomes across the country (The IIRP Graduate School)

Evaluation of a restorative milieu (Paul McCold, Ph.D., the IIRP Graduate School)

Other studies

Additional Resources:

Bailie, J. W. (2019, Spring). A science of human dignity: Belonging, voice and agency as universal human needs. IIRP Presidential Paper Series, 1, 1–16.

Boyes-Watson, C. & Pranis, K. (2014). Circle forward: Building a restorative school community. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press.

Brown, M.A. (2018). Creating restorative schools: Setting schools up to succeed. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press.

Burnett, N. and Thorsborne, M. (2015). Restorative practice and special needs: a practical guide to working restoratively with young people. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Cameron, L. and Thorsborne, M. (2001). Restorative justice and school discipline: mutually exclusive? In: H. Strang and J. Braithwaite (eds.) Restorative justice and civil society, pp. 180–194. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Evans, K. & Vaandering, D. (2016). The little book of restorative justice in education: Fostering responsibility, healing and hope in schools. Lancaster, PA: Good Books.

Fellegi, B. (2021, Fall). Bruising and healing: The dynamics of resolving grievances. IIRP Presidential Paper Series, 5, 1-30.

Greene, R.W. (2016). Lost and found: helping behaviorally challenging students (and, while you’re at it, all the others). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Hendry, R. (2009). Building and restoring respectful relationships in schools: A guide to using restorative practice. New York: Routledge.

Holland, B. (2012). Inclusive restorative justice: an investigation and exploration. London: Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Hopkins, B. (2011). The restorative classroom: Using restorative approaches to foster effective learning. London: Teach to Inspire, Optimus Education.

Jacobson, R. (2015). Case study 5. In: N. Burnett and M. Thorsborne (eds.) Restorative practice and special needs: a practical guide to working restoratively with young people, pp. 114–116. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Langley, J. (2016). Early years restorative practices: visual script. Northampton: Small World — Big Imaginations Ltd.

O'Connell, T., Wachtel, T., & Wachtel, B. (1999). Conferencing handbook: The new real justice training manual. Piper's Press.

Reimer, K. (2019). Adult intentions, student perceptions: How restorative justice is used in schools to control and to engage. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Rundell, F. C. (2021, Summer). Processing trauma using the Relational Care Ladder. IIRP Presidential Paper Series, 4, 1-20.

Skiba, R.J. and Rausch, M.K. (2006). Zero tolerance, suspension, and expulsion: questions of equity and effectiveness. In: C.M. Evertson and C.S. Weinstein (eds.) Handbook of classroom management: research, practice, and contemporary issues, pp. 1063–1089. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Thorsborne, M. & Blood, P. (2013). Implementing restorative practices in schools: A practical guide to transforming school communities. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Watchel, T. (1997). Real Justice: How we can revolutionize our response to wrongdoing.

Zehr, H. (2015). The little book of restorative justice: Revised and updated. Simon and Schuster.

Zehr, H., MacRae, A., Pranis, K., & Amstutz, L. S. (2015). The big book of restorative justice: Four classic justice & peacebuilding books in one volume. Simon and Schuster.

Ziesling-Clarke, S. (2015). Case study 1. In: N. Burnett and M. Thorsborne (eds.) Restorative practice and special needs: a practical guide to working restoratively with young people, pp. 101–104. London: Jessica Kingsley.


Using Restorative Circles to build community: a step by step guide